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David Perry

California State Assembly passes mattress recycling bill, 63-10

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California State Assembly voted Wednesday to approve a mattress recycling bill supported by the International Sleep Products Assn. on a 63-10 bipartisan vote.

SB 254 cleared a number of legislative hurdles in recent weeks and passed its biggest test to date on the Assembly floor vote.

It now goes to the state Senate for a final vote, which is expected today or Friday (check www.furnituretoday.com for updates), and if passed, to the governor for approval or veto within 30 days.

The bill will create a used mattress recycling program that will reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, create jobs and minimize costs to both the government and consumers, its supporters say.

ISPA officials called the recycling bill "an effective and efficient piece of legislation" and said they were pleased to be part of California's solution to dealing with the recycling of used mattresses.

"We are very pleased the members of the California State Assembly recognize the merits of SB 254," said Ryan Trainer, ISPA's president. "All stakeholders collaborated to help refine this legislation into a used mattress recycling policy that will benefit consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the environment."

SB 254 was authored by two Democratic legislators, Sen. Loni Hancock and Sen. Lou Correa.

The bill is broadly supported, as its backers demonstrated earlier this month with a press conference on the Capitol steps here. At that event, Correa noted that Californians buy about 4 million new mattresses and box springs each year and discard approximately 2 million units.

The legislation would create a nonprofit mattress recycling organization whose duty would be to plan, implement and administer a state system to collect discarded used mattresses, dismantle them, and recycle their materials for use in new products. The program will be sustained by collecting a nominal fee at retail on the sale of new mattresses and box springs, its supporters say.

"Californians are committed to their recycling practices," said Shelly Sullivan, who represents Californians for Mattress Recycling, a grassroots education group. "SB 254 simply puts a price on used mattresses akin to California's bottle and can recycling program and gives Californians another avenue to broaden the scope of the state's recycling portfolio."

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